The Beginning of the Good-Byes

**Update: Good News – they finally charged us for our FBI clearance reports, which means they should be sending them to us soon.  Once we have this, we can send off our Visa applications and my NZ RN license application!  Bad News – Chris was misdirected about which Visa application I needed to fill out.  Translation?  That 30 page document that I completed is now worthless, and I have to fill out a new, albeit slightly shorter, application.  I also have to go to the doctor (again – this will be trip #3) to have another lab test done.  Grr.  Alright, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

Chris and I visited Purdue yesterday.  In a lot of ways it feels more like a home to me than the city in which I grew up.  I was there for 4 years when I got my first degree, then hung around to get another degree while Chris finished his PhD.  All in all, I was there from August 2000 – July 2009, nearly 9 years minus school vacations that were spent at home with family.

I wanted to go back before we moved to New Zealand.  I formed a lot of deep connections in that area, and it was important for me to see certain people before we left.  One of those people is Ulla, a former co-worker of mine from one of the Lafayette-area hospitals.  She has children my age, but our age difference has never been an issue.  Whenever I see her or speak with her I come away uplifted and encouraged.  We hadn’t seen one another in close to 2 years, what with our being in Boston and then moving to South Bend.  I walked into the restaurant, saw her, and it was like we’d never been apart.  We gave each other a great big hug and started chatting away.  It was great to visit with her, but at the same time it made me incredibly sad.  This was probably the last that I’ll see of her for 5 years, and most likely longer than that.

While Ulla and I were catching up at one restaurant, Chris was eating dinner with his former dissertation chair at another.  I finished my dinner early, so I decided to drive around the area while waiting for him.   I drove past our old house that we lived in shortly after being married, our old apartment (so tiny!), the hospital where I used to work (now closed and moved to a new location), the new hospital, our old church… it made me sad.  I hadn’t been in town for almost 2 years, but it felt as though I had just left.  So many familiar places and memories.  The thought of being far away from it is hard.

It felt like the beginning of the good-byes.  I’ve known for some time now about our move to New Zealand, but I kept thinking, “Oh, it’s months and months away”.  I suppose I took a line from Scarlett O’Hara’s book: “I can’t think about that now.  I’ll think about that tomorrow”.  But tomorrow is almost here, and I’ve got to think about what this move will mean for me.

I’m a firm believer that happiness is a choice.  You can be at a job that you don’t enjoy, living in an area that you don’t love far away from your family, but how you choose to react to a thing is up to you.  My mom used to say, “The only person who’s behavior your responsible for is your own.”  I love that line.  It’s helped me out a lot over the years.  I remember it whenever I’m tempted to play the victim of circumstance.  In a way, that’s tremendously liberating. I’m looking ahead to this move and I’ve already decided that I’m going to be happy and that I’m going to like it there.  I did that when we moved to Boston (and that was hard!), and I did it again when we moved to South Bend (also hard – have you seen South Bend?!).  That’s not to say that I don’t have my off days weeks, a fact to which Chris, my parents, and all of my brothers and sisters would most happily attest, I’m sure!  Going away and leaving loved ones, leaving jobs that bring fulfillment and meaning to my life, is difficult.

I have a lot of things to be grateful for – my husband has a very good job, we’re moving to a city that was ranked as  having the 4th highest quality of living in the world, it’s a wonderful climate, I’ll get to meet my friend Priscilla (yay!), and the university has a generous relocation policy.  I get the opportunity to work in a different healthcare culture with different ways of doing things.  What a great opportunity to learn and to grow!  Still, good-byes are hard.  Please keep me, Chris, and our families in your thoughts and prayers as our moving date draws near.  Pray that we have good attitudes and that we trust God regardless of whether or not His plans for us are clearly laid before our feet.  Pray that I don’t let worry and anxiety overwhelm me – this is something that I’m struggling with a lot right now.  Thanks so much to all of you, my lovely readers, for your support 🙂

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11 comments

  1. Tami says:

    Thinking of you and praying for you!

    I can’t imagine having to say goodbye, and move so far away, but it sounds like a great opportunity for you and your husband! I’m a firm believer in “happiness is a choice” as well, here’s to you choosing happiness!

  2. Heather says:

    I can’t imagine what you have been going through! And I would have been to aggravated about the 30 pg document.

    The place you are moving to sounds amazing!

  3. Elle says:

    I just did a post on almost the same thing this week, although mine was not as eloquent as yours… Moving is hard, but soak up every minute you can while you are still here, create sharp and vivid memories, and keep an open heart ready for the adventure of New Zealand.

    I keep reminding myself that as hard as it is to relocate, I’m getting to do the things that lots of people wish they could do. Up and move to a new exciting city, gaining experience in a new place that will make me a more complete person, and I’m only moving from Austin to San francisco, so think how much more this is true for you moving to New Zealand. Although all of this moving comes with sacrifice, it’s fun to remember that we are privileged to be able to do so!

    Hang in there… there will be good times and bad times with this move, just make sure that you don’t stay in the bad times because you have SO MUCH to look forward to!

  4. Fidgeting Gidget says:

    You’re always so upbeat about everything and you always seem to make the best of the hand that you’re dealt. Yes, goodbyes will be hard, but as someone living in another country away from close friends and family, it is manageable…hard, but manageable. Just make sure to Skype a lot. 🙂

    I’m so jealous that you were back in West Lafayette! I’m going back for my sister’s graduation in May for the first time in two years and I can’t wait!

  5. Ally says:

    It sounds like you really have the best attitude possible for going through a transition like this. It’s definitely a sad time with all the good byes, but all those things you listed that you’re grateful for will keep you going. You guys are gonna handle it just fine, I’m sure!!

  6. Anonymous Prep says:

    That’s great that you got to spend some time catching up with an old friend! You’re definitely in my prayers because I have issues moving to the next town over.

  7. Priscilla says:

    I can’t imagine how tough the goodbyes are gonna be.. I found it sad just saying goodbye to my family for 7 weeks when I headed off to the States! I’ll be praying. But you have a great attitude and I’m looking forward to showing you guys around and helping you settle into Auckland/Kiwi life 🙂

  8. Jane says:

    Moving is hard. Heavens knows I’ve done enough of it in the last ten years! I can’t imagine an international move.

    I’ve been praying for you lots lately … well, at least you’ve been in my prayers. Most of the time it goes something like, God, please help me to not be so jealous of Jenny for getting to go to New Zealand and work in a hospital already. Please let her have lots of fun for me!

    Haha … wow, I’ve got to start studying! 😉

  9. cyndi says:

    Saying good-bye is always hard but I think your positive attitude will see you through. I love that you’re looking at this as an adventure and have already decided that you’ll love it. Your husband is very lucky to have you!

  10. Brittany says:

    You’re being terribly brave. Moving is so hard. The good-byes are the worst. It’s heart-wrenching and hopeful all at the same time. My prayers are with you!

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